Good article. I know in my own case (lots of hearings), sometimes the judge gave instructions that the next hearing was to be listed to be heard by him again, so they can do that if they think it's necessary.
Eye-opening article, although I'm not surprised that some parents would actually do this. And they wonder why their children end up troubled and disappointing. The courts should and must do a better job on looking out for the welfare of children and their life after divorce. But from what I know, some courts have awarded the custody of the divorcing parents' children to their grandchildren if both has represented themselves as unfit guardians. It's really a lose-lose for the children at any way you look at it, at least for now.
just wanted to share my experience of "children as ammunition". My ex has contact, I have residency. My ex is abusive towards me in front of the child, she swears runs me down and includes the child in all of this. Ex tells child that i should be arrested and put in jail, reports me constanly to the Police and Social Services. Ex says that she has the child's interest at all at all times, but her actions speak volumes. My ex makes my daughter spy on my new life and report back. Something I have had to come to terms with is that this is acutally domestic abuse towards myself, and emotional abuse against our daughter.
I have moved and yet it seems that my ex is determined to keep myself and our daughter "trapped" in what she believes is still a marriage, although we have been divorced over 2 years. My daughter feels completely confused and seeks to please both parents. Ex has made my daughter write to the courts to prove "she wants to live with Mummy". I feel almost powerless to assist her until we are in contact with Cafcass etc. Let's hope justice does prevail?.......
Hi, this is a very clear case of emotional. I would consider changing contact to supervised contact at a contact centre, where you and your ex no longer have to come into contact with each other, and if your wife doesn't behave in front of your daughter (and there would be independent witnesses), then you could consider applying to have contact restricted further, or stopped altogether - although there is a presumption that contact with both parents is best for a child, if it can be shown otherwise, then the courts will order that contact can be stopped, or restricted to writing, cards, phone calls etc, and I would say that, from what you have said, then you would have a good case for this. At the very least, it may serve as a warning to your ex to temper her behaviour.
Thanks for the reply. Temper her behaviour? Don't think that will happen! She has been warned by the Police for harrassment against my partner (after ex threatened to hit her!) warned more than 3 times by my solicitor. I am taking ex back to court to have contact reduced, on advice from Social Services and my own concerns.
Funny, Cafcass said that "For a child to have contact with one parent resricted, would have a detrimental effect on the child" surely can't be worse than the emotional torture she's in now?
Daughter has started to not want to go to my ex's which causes ex to shout and rant down the phone, child gets upset. I can't wait for Cafass to meet us!! It seems that the ex is so fixated on the child that she does not see what damage she is doing. Have had to change my home number to stop her from hassling me for no reason (which breaches the court order AGAIN!). Ex has also arranged "therapy" for our daughter without informing me.. me thinks that is to do with ex's control issues. :roll:
A few points from your post.
- How old is your daughter? Reason for asking is that when my case was in court, my older daughter was 13 and was adamant that she didnâ€™t want to see her mother. The court accepted that she was old enough to know what she really wanted and (reluctantly) agreed not to issue an order for contact in person. My daughter has seen her once, when she was 17 at her own request, and apart from occasional emails, that is the only contact she has had in 6 years.
- I would speak to your solicitor about adding a prohibited steps order to the proceedings when you go back to court, if you don't already have one. If it is granted (and with the evidence you should be able to get from the police, I see no reason why it wouldnâ€™t be), the police can arrest and prosecute if she breaches that order. It gives the police something extra to add to their armoury. I would also ask your solicitor whether he thinks you are justified in stopping contact until the court hearing for the sake of your daughter (your solicitor would need to write to your ex to tell her this) - normally that would be a breach of the court order, but the fact that you are going for reduced contact gives you a valid argument and it would be very unlilkely that the court would penalise you in any way if you were genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of your daughter.
- You need to find ways to empower your daughter. At the moment, she doesnâ€™t have the confidence to be able to simply say to your ex â€œI donâ€™t want you to sayâ€¦.â€ If you ex is being manipulative or abusive. She may also be feeling that there is always a possibility that she may have to go back to live or stay with her mother â€“ constant reassurance that she is safe with you will help.
- I have seen a paper with research showing that contact with an abusive parent can be far more harmful than the normal presumption that contact with both parents is the best option â€“ it may take me a week or so to find it again, but Iâ€™ll see about getting it to you when I do as it is certainly useful reading, and may help you in court.
As a matter of interest, do you mind saying whereabouts in the country you are based?
Thanks for the reply. My daughter is 7 (going on 17!). My daughter sees my ex as some kind of goddess, ex can do no wrong and no matter what myself, my parner or family say, the ex is ALWAYS right! Ex ran off with my daughter and shacked up with another man. I had no idea where my daughter was. Ex applied for prohibited steps, but was declined and I was the one who obtained the residency order (2 years ago). I want my daughter to ideally see her Mum once a month and for it to be supervised. But I am told by my legal team that this is unlikely (fortnightly is best they hope to achieve).
When my daughter is with me, she is what I believe playing up (on the phone to ex) as she does not want to talk to her mum, is rude and sarcastic, constantly asks to hang up. I think my daughter is learning that her evenings/fun are curtailed by her enforced calls with her mum (per court order).
She is not point blank refusing to see her mum, but we have had 3 weeks on the trot of her not wanting to see her mum. But then she claims she misses her!! Daughter told my ex "I want to live with at daddy's house as it's funner"......
I have one more opportunity to write a statement for court/cafcass and I will detail what has been happening recently.
I originally went for contact twice per month for my youngest daughter, but my ex was so erratic with contact, that I went back to court and had it changed to once per month (and even now, some are missed) - I'd still consider going for contact once per month, with twice a month as your fallback position if you have to negotiate. You could also try for once per month, with the option to change it to twice per month by mutual agreement if contact seems to be going ok, that way you don't have to go back to court to get it changed, and if she doesn't behave in contact, you can simply refuse to give the increased contact and still be complying with the order.